Q&A with PostClassical Ensemble Founder Angel Gil-Ordoñez
By February 8, 2023 0 907•
Maestro Angel Gil-Ordoñez, Spanish-born American conductor, founder of the PostClassical Ensemble — and our February cover model — spoke with The Georgetowner about his passion for music, what he loves about the D.C. arts scene and his upcoming projects.
THE GEORGETOWNER: How do you find the time to do everything you’re involved with? Does your passion for music help energize you?
ANGEL GIL-ORDONEZ: Being passionate about something is a gift and a curse at the same time. I like to say that those who are passionate about their vocation are always on vacation but never take a vacation. Conducting is a special gift because you are constantly sharing your passion with others. That drives you, but there’s never a break from it. Luckily, there’s nothing more energizing than it.
GT: Did you ever imagine that PostClassical Ensemble would become what it is today?
AGO: To be honest, I wouldn’t have embarked on such an adventure without the conviction that we would become an extraordinary and innovative chamber orchestra. PostClassical Ensemble is the natural evolution of what an orchestra should be in the 21st century — a vehicle that transforms the concert experience through collaborations, across artistic mediums, that showcase how film, literature, and art enhance and inspire a new way to experience the musical repertoire. I’m completely convinced of that. Most orchestras talk about ways to be part of that evolution. I’m proud to say that we are doing it!
GT: What do you like most about the D.C. arts scene? Do you have a show, exhibit, etc. you’re most excited about checking out this spring?
AGO: D.C. has extraordinary cultural offerings — so much variety and exceptional quality. This is what makes D.C. so special: world-renowned museums, art galleries, lectures and theater. We are thrilled to be part of such a vibrant art community. Personally, The Phillips Collection is my favorite. I’m always looking forward to their next show.
GT: Tell us about a project you’re working on that you’re excited about.
AGO: Our next exciting program, “Entwined: A Double Feature,” relates to Spain, my country of origin. We’re working with the Embassy of Spain as well as Georgetown University to bring a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the seminal de Falla opera, “El retablo de maese Pedro (Master Peter’s Puppet Show)” to D.C. Our concert opera presentation will be part of a global celebration of the piece’s centennial! The opera, possibly de Falla’s best work, was inspired by Don Quixote and is set in early 17th century Spain. We’re collaborating with visual artist Kevork Mourad who’ll replace the puppets that were used in the original versions with animated illustrations synced with the score, with some created live on stage by Kevork himself!
Billed along with the opera will be the world premiere of a sensuous, multi-disciplined performance piece, Entwined: Love’s Magician. The production, by playwright/director and Georgetown University Professor, Derek Goldman, was inspired by the deep and unlikely friendship between Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and Manuel de Falla, and will feature Flamenco artists, soloists, actors, and more. It will contextualize the opera nicely, and I’m thrilled to be working with Derek who’s a fountain of creativity, global and cultural wisdom, and generosity of spirit.
The concert, which will culminate our 2022-2023 season, will take place at The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on April 19. We expect the performance to sell out, so please get your tickets early!
Read more arts news in our February 2023 Spring Arts Preview here.